Brennan Evans scored through traffic with 10:06 to go, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson added empty-netters, and the Grand Rapids Griffins finally buried Syracuse in six games and won the Calder Cup. The Griffins fell behind in the first, scored two in the second, got tied up, and finally got that goal. It’s the Griffins’ first title in any league. Tomas Tatar, who scored to make it 2-1 and then added his 16th of the playoffs into an empty net, was named playoff MVP.
Brett Skinner, with six assists in 21 playoff games, becomes the sixth former Sound Tiger to win the Calder Cup, joining Ray Schultz, Eric Manlow, Jason Krog, Kip Brennan and Trevor Smith.
Edit: Come to think of it, Grand Rapids is the first Calder Cup champion that Bridgeport has never played. They came into the league the same year.
Hershey’s got a coach… and a darned good one, too.
|HER||Mark French (5/17)||Mike Haviland (6/18)|
|TOR||Dallas Eakins (EDM head, 6/10)||—|
Scott Munroe joins Rhett Rakhshani with Vaxjo in Sweden.
Community corner (though not this community): Nino Niederreiter goes home with an oversized novelty check with several zeroes*. Matt Donovan appears Thursday in OKC to support the March of Dimes.
We’re Golf Blogging elsewhere, if you’re interested. A team effort.
I can no longer jinx it for the good folks with deadlines, so… this appears to be the first AHL playoffs since 1995 without a double-overtime game. The closest they came was Syracuse-Portland Game 3, all the way back in the first round, May 2. Ondrej Palat ended that at 19:43. There were 56 games in the 1995 playoffs; only six went to overtime, according to the AHL Guide and Record Book, and none of those lasted longer than 10:03, May 5, 1995, Fredericton 4 at PEI 5, Darcy Simon**. Other OT scorers that spring include Yves Sarault, Paxton Schulte and, for the Binghamton Rangers against Rochester, one Eric Cairns.
Heck, there wasn’t even an overtime game this season, period, after May 20, the sixth game of WBS-Providence. There were 13 OT games in all out of 72 playoff games, but 10 of those came from 32 first-round games, then the other three from among 22 conference-semi games.
The last time there wasn’t an overtime game in the Final was 2008 (funny enough, that finished three years in a row without one)***. By a scan over the times in the G+RB, since the modern two-conference setup began in 1995-96, doesn’t look as though there had been a Calder Cup playoffs without at least one overtime game in the conference finals or beyond. The three years before that, when there were three divisions, there was at least one overtime in either the mini round between the two lower-seeded division champs or in the Final. There were three divisions as well in 1992; they had 12 overtime games**** in 35 first-round playoff games, but then none in the final 25, which included four best-of-sevens and a best-of-three miniseries.
And now, for good or ill, there’ll be no AHL overtime games of any sort until September.
*-If those are Swiss Francs, in dollar terms you could just about change that first zero to a one.
**-That appears to be the only playoff overtime game in the long and storied history of the Prince Edward Island Senators, who were of course spirited away from up the block; more from Paradise on Orange Avenue in a bit.
***-Don’t believe there has been a Calder Cup-winning goal in overtime since 2002.
****-One was the last overtime game in New Haven Nighthawks history. Mike Sillinger in double overtime, Good Friday at the Coliseum in Game 4. Which made it the last New Haven Nighthawks home game. (The G&RB has that as a single-OT game, which is why I hedge some of those older details a bit.)